JF Ptak Science Books Post 2013 History of Holes
This detail is from a pivotal moment in time in a crucial battle in the endgame of the European Theatre of WWII. It is Christmas, 1944, and the action takes place in the Ardennes. The German forces made a very unexpected assault through thick and very problematic wood, pushing Allied forces back along a long front, forcing a very perceptible bulge in the line--a bulge pointed the wrong way. The bulge was pretty much in the middle of the line and in the middle of the bulge was a famous circle, and inside this circle was the 101st Airborne division in the town of Bastogne, and it was surrounded for the time being by overpowering elements of the Wehrmacht, including three infantry divisions and a panzer division The boxes with the cross-hatches are all enemy forces, and for a time, the "AB101" stood quite by themselves.
The full map from which this detail is made is found at the Library of Congress site, here; the full suite of eleven maps showing the development of the battle from 16 December 1944 to 18 January 18, 1945 is also found here.
"In a quick glance at the situation maps from October to December 1944 the eye is drawn to an area with few unit symbols along the Allied and German front lines in the Ardennes. During the autumn of 1944, the American front line was typically held by four or fewer divisions. The December 16th situation map shows the front line in this sector thinly held by the U.S. Army VIII Corps comprised of the 106th Infantry Division, 28th Infantry Division, the reduced 9th Armored Division, and the 4th Infantry Division arrayed from north to south. The VIII Corps headquarters was located in Bastogne. The VIII Corps was holding the
southern edge of the U.S. First Army front lines adjacent to the U.S. Third Army. Also notice that throughout the autumn until December 15, the maps show a similarly small number of German infantry divisions behind the Siegfried Line opposing VIII Corps. By 12:00pm on the first day of the attack, December 16, there were twice as many German divisions, including two panzer divisions, identified in the sector moving against VIII Corps. During the next four weeks the situation maps show many interesting developments as the battle progressed."--from the Library of Congress site, as above.